Not according to our state constitution. The Wyoming State Constitution guarantees every student in the state the right to a high quality education. The Wyoming State Legislature has already cut $55 million from the annual education budget over the past two years. School districts around the state are preparing to sue the Legislature on Constitutional grounds if lawmakers cut education further. Plus, even though “tightening our belts” sounds like a good old-fashioned, common-sense solution, what it really entails is taking away opportunities from our children.
Not really, unless you want a big city in Wyoming. It costs more per-person in Wyoming to do most things than in other states because our population is small and spread out. For instance, some lawmakers who don’t want to raise new revenues for education point to the fact that it costs less to educate students in Utah than in Wyoming. But that doesn’t take into account that Utah has a big metropolitan area in the middle of it, where schools can have far fewer administrators per student, combine resources, and get deals on bulk orders of materials. In fact, if you compare rural counties in Utah to comparable counties in Wyoming, we actually spend less per student.
Because new revenues mean new taxes, and people have been taught to hate taxes—in part because they tend to be administered in a grossly unfair manner. For instance, the 20 percent of people in Wyoming with the lowest income pay a tax rate seven times higher than the richest one percent
(click here for more information on unfair taxes). But even though no one likes more taxes, people in Wyoming value education, and we’re willing to chip in our fair share.